| | Two Former Powerhouses Meet as Michigan plays Nebraska
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr knows that Wednesday’s Alamo Bowl has two programs with great histories. Michigan and Nebraska have great history between them. The Wolverines are first in all-time wins (849) and the Huskers are fourth (793). "You look back at the last 30 years, and they've won more national championships than anybody in the country," Carr said. "We have a history with Nebraska going back to the (1986) Fiesta Bowl and, of course, the '97 co-national championship."
Michigan (7-4) has had an up and down season with all four losses coming by a total of 17 points. The Wolverines at one time were ranked as high as #3 but come into this game ranked #20. Quarterback Chad Henne said he and his teammates are out to make the best of a season that got away. "It's a difference," he said of being in San Antonio. "But to be up against a great opponent like Nebraska has got to spike our eyes up because they have so much tradition and pride in their program."
This year’s Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-4) are still not up to past clubs. Nebraska is 12-10 since Callahan replaced Frank Solich. Last year's 5-6 finish ended an NCAA-record bowl streak that dated to 1969. Callahan, who has played 29 freshmen or sophomores this season, said the Michigan matchup is a good one, as the team gets ready for next season. "This will be a great learning experience," Callahan said.
"You don't need much motivation to play in a game like this," Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor said.
The game's big matchup could be Michigan's offensive line against a Nebraska defense that has 46 sacks. "We've played some very, very fine defensive fronts, and I think this is the best we've played," Carr said. "They lead the nation in sacks. I think that alone tells you the challenge we have."
"We're going to have to do a good job defending the run," Callahan said. "They are a power football team whenever they want to be, and that's a real challenge to our defensive front and front seven. They have the ability to knock you off the ball and to dominate the line of scrimmage."